Contemporary Youth Culture

Essay by miranda92High School, 11th gradeA-, September 2008

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Proclaiming about the Gospel message to the youth of today has presented the Catholic Church with significant challenges. It seems nowadays, the youth of the Western world has grown up in a society that is influenced by factors such as the media and promotes both consumerism and materialism. As a result of this, the core meaning of the Gospel message has drifted further and further away from youth culture. The Church is now challenged to bring back the significance of the Gospel message amongst a culture that does not understand it. Central to the Church’s mission is proclaiming through “word and witness”, however, this is not the Catholic Church’s only test. The real challenge lies in communicating the Gospel message to youth culture without letting it succumb to the cultures values and beliefs. Proclaiming the Gospel message to youth proves a challenge in itself due to the many existent issues facing youth today.

A time has come where outside influences such as the media have the ability to shape values and beliefs. This is evident in youth culture today. With magazine headlines such as “Hot First Night Sex” (Cosmopolitan Magazine, Issue 383, May 2006) or “25 New Things to Wear this Weekend” (Girlfriend Magazine, July 2006) it appears that the youth culture today is experiencing a decline in moral value as well as a culture based much around materialism and consumerism. With the focus on such material elements, one challenge the Catholic Church faces in bringing about the Gospel message is drawing positive attention to faith. The meeting of ca. 80 bishops, priests and laymen from all over Europe in Warsaw in September 2005, carried a theme of 'Who paints the picture for young people? Media, young people's language(s) and handing on the faith’ which demonstrates that the media...